With a diverse set of characters that grow with each other as they try to find their way in a hierarchical feudal world that is rapidly in decline, the Peter Ho and Dong Jie version of The Butterfly Lovers 梁山伯与祝英台 is one of my to-go feel-good dramas (I stop at some point for obvious reasons). It’s refreshing to see a series where every person is full of wide-eyed wonder at the world they’re learning about and will soon be facing. Foils at every major decision point for the lead couple shows the complexity of the decisions they are forced to make and truly show why Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai are soulmates.
Alternatively, if you like the possessive male lead who is mean to everyone but the female lead and has a troubled childhood that you can pity him for, then supporting male lead Ma Wencai (Chen Guanlin) has you covered. I’m 100% convinced the canon couple are soulmates in this drama, but I can see why this version’s Ma Wencai has a huge following.
This dance that Dong Jie choreographed on the day of shooting is one of my favorite TV dances. It’s simple but it’s so beautifully shot.